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Inter-generational transitions in socio-technical systems: The case of mobile communications

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  • Ansari, Shahzad
  • Garud, Raghu

Abstract

Many technology studies have conceptualized transitions between technological generations as a series of S-curve performance improvements over time. Surprisingly, the interregnum between successive generations has received little attention. To understand what happens in the interregnum, we study the transition from 2G to 3G in mobile communications. Our study identifies the presence of forces for both change and continuity across heterogeneous social and technical elements shaping an uneven transition between 2G and 3G mobile communications technology platforms. Unanticipated misalignments and asynchronies that emerged during the journey shifted the incentives of the various actors involved to participate. Based on these observations, we offer several conjectures as to the dynamics that can give rise to temporal discords during inter-generational technological transitions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ansari, Shahzad & Garud, Raghu, 2009. "Inter-generational transitions in socio-technical systems: The case of mobile communications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 382-392, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:2:p:382-392
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raja Roy & MB Sarkar, 2016. "Knowledge, firm boundaries, and innovation: Mitigating the incumbent's curse during radical technological change," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 835-854, May.
    2. Joan Crespo & Raphaël Suire & Jérôme Vicente, 2016. "Network structural properties for cluster long-run dynamics: evidence from collaborative R&D networks in the European mobile phone industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 261-282.
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:765-778 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Welter, Friederike & Smallbone, David, 2015. "Creative forces for entrepreneurship: The role of institutional change agents," Working Papers 01/15, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    5. Ford, Rebecca & Walton, Sara & Stephenson, Janet & Rees, David & Scott, Michelle & King, Geoff & Williams, John & Wooliscroft, Ben, 2017. "Emerging energy transitions: PV uptake beyond subsidies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 138-150.
    6. Hu, Hanhui & Wan, Xing & Lv, Kui & Xu, Min, 2012. "Mapping China's 3G market with the strategic network paradigm," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 977-988.
    7. Klerkx, Laurens & Aarts, Noelle & Leeuwis, Cees, 2010. "Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(6), pages 390-400, July.
    8. Mariana Mazzucato & Douglas K Robinson, 2016. "Lost in space? NASA and the changing publicprivate eco-system in space," SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-20, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    9. Jain, Sanjay, 2012. "Pragmatic agency in technology standards setting: The case of Ethernet," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1643-1654.
    10. Ansari, Shahzad (Shaz) & Krop, Pieter, 2012. "Incumbent performance in the face of a radical innovation: Towards a framework for incumbent challenger dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1357-1374.
    11. Garud, Raghu & Gehman, Joel, 2012. "Metatheoretical perspectives on sustainability journeys: Evolutionary, relational and durational," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 980-995.
    12. Ron Adner & Rahul Kapoor, 2016. "Innovation ecosystems and the pace of substitution: Re-examining technology S-curves," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 625-648, April.
    13. Shahzad (Shaz) Ansari & Raghu Garud & Arun Kumaraswamy, 2016. "The disruptor's dilemma: TiVo and the U.S. television ecosystem," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(9), pages 1829-1853, September.
    14. Zhang, Marina Yue, 2016. "Meso-level factors in technological transitions: The development of TD-SCDMA in China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 546-559.

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